Three Things Tuesday: Pity Party, Table Of One

I need to vent.

Exercise is my outlet and I barely have that right now and it is making me IN-SANE!  I have been trying to stay positive but it has been six weeks and I am starting to melt down.  There is so much going on in my life, that to have to be so held back in my activity is making me crazy.  Two weeks ago, I cried because I broke two nails and twice this week I cried without even anything actually happening.  For those of you who do not know me…I am not a crier.  And I certainly DO NOT cry over broken nails.  But I did.  I am losing it. 

Most of what is bothering me is the difference between where I was last year in comparison to where I am this year. 

There are Three Things that stand out to me most as far as these differences go:

School-

Then: I was in my sixth semester at RU (first semester as a dual student) taking both undergraduate and graduate courses and had just received notification that I was the recipient of the award from the Arts and Humanities department.  This was a really big deal to me and showed me that my hard work was being noticed.  I carry a 3.65 and I have been on the Dean’s List all but one semester since I started.  I was finally gearing up to graduate in the Spring of 2010 and feeling excited. 

Now: I found out last semester that I am three math credits short of graduating.  The problem is, is that after four tries I am still unable to pass the required class that I need in order to graduate.  I have always been in low math and it seems no matter how hard I try, I cannot pass.  Because of that, I began taking steps to get tested for the learning disability, discalculia.  Wow…what a road that turned out to be.  A lot of meetings and information later, I walked away with pretty much all odds against me.  The state took away the funding for the testing and the process is lengthy.  A friend of mine, who has all the proper credentials, offered to test me but by that time I was just so drained from the process.  Plus, there is always the possibility that they would determine I didn’t have a learning disability.  And that I am just stupid.  All of that combined with the stress of this year led me to take this semester off.  I just didn’t have the energy to care.  And that is so not me. 

Work:

Then: For three seasons I was the softball coach for my middle school.  I absolutely loved it.  I looked forward to it all year and really connected with my girls.  I got the job because they had an opening and no one was willing to do it for small pay.  Look, I would have done it for free, which it basically was when you added up the hours and divided the pay.  The following year, with new contracts came more pay.  And interest in my job as the coach.  But for two more years I held onto it; it was exhausting with practice or games every day and some nights lasting until 7pm or so.  But I loved every second.

Now: Due to some political bullshit stuff I can’t really elaborate on, I was replaced.  I was also crushed.  I found out in the fall but now that the season has started, it is like I am crushed all over again.  Basically, because I am “staff”, teachers have hierarchy over me and since there was a teacher that wanted the job, I got pushed out.  It is so weird not to be a part of the program.  I miss the girls and I miss the game.

Training:

Then: Last March I logged 31 miles running, 123 miles on the bike and 1000 meters in the pool.  I had just begun my first half-marathon training schedule and was only casually training for Triathlon given that my first tri of the season last year wasn’t until July.  I was making great progress, hitting the gym four to five days a week and in great shape.

Now: So far this month I have racked up 3.5 miles on the bike.  I had to bag my March Half-Marathon and I will be bagging my April Half-Marathon as well.  And my May 10-miler will be a walk, not a run.  It is extra depressing because my April half and May 10-miler were the two road races I was most looking forward to this year.  And even though I am back to slowly working out, I can tell I have lost a lot of my fitness.  And I cannot stop eating; I feel like a human garbage disposal and I am for sure putting on the pounds.  Notsomuch how I expected things to be at this point! 

So basically overall, I went from having a really busy schedule to having almost nothing to do.  I am bored.  And I am sad.  And I hate being bored and sad.  I was hoping that my training would fill the void of softball but because I can barely train, all I have is time to think about all the things that don’t seem to be going right for me. 

Hello-Pity Party, table of one.

 

Often people take venting as complaining and I want to be very clear here: I am grateful for my health, my job and my home.  I am in no way trying to gain pity.  Everyone has shit and this is mine.  Holding it all in makes me negative and I don’t want to be a negative person.  I have worked really hard to stay positive but now and then I need to vomit out my anger/frustration!

Welcome To The Monday Brain Exchange!

Monday Brain Exchange Week 1!

Congrats to Jill from Jill Will Run- she was the winning thinker-upper (love that made up word) for the title of my Weekly Q&A! 

Here’s how it works:

  • Every Monday, I will post a question.  The questions will be set up to post for 6am E.S.T. to give everyone ample amount of time to post their own answers throughout the day.
  • Questions will range all over the board as far as topics are concerned; from the sports themselves to nutrition to blogging  and so on.  (If you have any topics/questions you think would be good, please feel free to email me!) 
  • If you want to play along, all you have to do is post the question and your answer on your own blog
  • Link your post to my blog so that I know you have participated, and in the following weeks post, I will link all the participant blogs from the prior week.

So, let’s get started shall we!

Topic: All About Blogs!

Question:  What/Who influenced you to start a blog?  Where did you get your blog title?  How long have you been blogging?

My title, Finishing is Winning, comes from my childhood Track and Field Days.  I racked up a decent amount of green participant ribbons but never won the coveted Red, White or Blue.  However, my mom was at every Field Day cheering me on at every finish line.  Both my parents supported my every endeavor.  They never let the ribbons define me.  Instead, I was praised for having the guts to go for the goal and for always finishing no matter what.  In the end, a ribbon is just a ribbon.  And when those years of track and field were long over and I decided to go for a new goal of completing a triathlon, my parents once again supported me 100%.  When I came in third from last at my first triathlon, they were at the finish cheering me on as if I was the first place winner.  Cause the place didn’t matter.  Cause Finishing is Winning! 

Before I started my own blog, I was already a full blown creeper reading many tri blogs.  I would read them mostly for advice but also for entertainment.  I knew I loved the idea of blogging when one night I started reading one and clicked to another, and then another and another and so on and so forth.  Before I knew it I had been reading for over two hours.  I was hooked.  And I wanted in.  But because I was so new to the sport, and because I wasn’t sure people would be interested in what I had to say, I refrained from starting my own for quite a while.  Then in early 2009, I decided to get more into running and I was reading  more and more blogs.  I knew then, that it was my time.  I wanted to begin documenting my experiences with triathlon and running and thus Finishing is Winning was born.

I have been blogging a little over a year now.  In that year, I have been amazed at the support from the interwebs. 🙂  I remember when my first comments began coming in; I couldn’t believe people were actually reading what I was writing and liking it enough to comment.  It wasn’t until then that I actually had the confidence to start commenting other tri/running blogs.  And from that, friendships were born.  My readership has changed over the last year- some of you have been with me from the beginning, some for a few months and some of you are new readers…but I love you all.  And I appreciate the comments, the emails and the friendships.  I recognize that many people do not “get” blogging…but here, we all get each other and I am ever so grateful for this community!

Slow And Steady Wins The Race??

Look, lets face it:  slow and steady confirms ones spot in the middle of the pack.  It does not win the race.  Just saying.

As for me, slow and steady is the only way.  You know, those baby steps I keep writing about.  And speaking of baby steps, this classic clip here is for Lacey:

Today was my first real day back at the gym.  In four weeks, I have been there only a handful of times…and all I was doing was basic lifting and ab work.  Booooring!  But today…today I had a real workout…well, about as real as it is going to get for the time being!  I started out by warming up with 10 minutes on the bike.  10 slooooooow minutes!  Then I did 15 minutes on the elliptical.  Even though it was a struggle to stay at a slow pace, it felt really good to break a sweat.  Afterwards I did a lot of stretching, worked on some of my strength exercises and then did some lifting and ab work.

It really did feel good to be back…I am looking forward to getting back into a routine, going to the gym again in the mornings and getting refocused for what is to come.  I am not fooling myself, the road is long…but these small victories add up and I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time before I am back to new!

Don’t forget, tomorrow starts the weekly Q&A; the voting for theme ends at midnight tonight and the first Q&A will be posted early tomorrow morning, along with the theme winner!  If you haven’t already, please vote.  If you did, thanks 🙂  Looking forward to getting this started!

 

Motivation

The goal is to get better.  It is a long and slow road.  It can be frustrating.  So today I collected a ton of quotes/photos and over the next week I am going to put them all over where I live/work so that I never stop believing in my abilities.  Will there still be down days- duh.  But the idea is to have more good days than bad days. 

Here are a few of my favorites:

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  I am off to have some dinner and drinks with my good friend Kate and then tomorrow it is back to the gym!!!!!  WOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Travesty…And A Little Good News!

They took away internet access at my work.  As the middle schoolers are saying W.T.F/O.M.G  This is supposed to be temporary while they get the student computers blocked, but right now it is the entire system.  FRIG!

Typically, I get to work a little before the madness begins and read blogs while having my morning coffee.  I also read blogs during my break time and sometimes at lunch.  Now…well, I have a feeling my reader will never be caught up.  That is, until they reactivate the access.

Gosh…I can hardly believe I lived the first 18 years of my life without Internet!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And for some good news…………..I am cleared to work out!

This has nothing to do with training.  I am not cleared to start training again and I have to be very careful not to confuse to two.  I am cleared to swim but only allowed to do arm drills and legs stretches in the water.  No kicking drills and no aqua jogging.  I am allowed on the stationary bike but no outdoor biking yet.  I can get on the elliptical for short periods and begin walking on the treadmill.   And about running…yeah, there is still none of that going on.  None.  Nada.  Zip.

But again, it is all about the baby steps.  I won’t lie, it is starting to really get to me.  It is hard to go so slow and even harder to be so off my schedule.  And it goes without saying that having to bag races sucks!  I have found myself feeling sorry for myself over the last week or so, but at the same time I believe in perspective and I constantly remind myself that it could be a lot worse and that I will bounce back from all of this. 

Thank you to my faithful readers, you have no idea how much your support means to me.  Your comments and personal emails mean a lot and are definitely helping me to keep my head up and stay positive!  Keep the good vibes a comin!  And while your at it, send some good vibes over to my girl Ulyana who is dealing with a much worse injury and facing surgery.  She is one tough chick and she is going to come back from all of this stronger and more awesomer!

And don’t forget…yes, I am going to bug you until Monday…VOTE for the Q&A theme on my sidebar!

Virginia Beach Vacation and .2 Race Report

I would like to wake up to this everyday.

 

Let’s start at the beginning shall we….

Friday morning started bright and early at 530am.  I was out the door and to Michele by 7:30 and after a stop to WaWa for some coffee we were on our way!  The drive was fairly uneventful…got some breakfast, made some stops, chatted and etc.  That is, until we pulled out of Starbucks after a coffee/pee break.  My GPS was kindly taking us back out to the road and despite the signs of construction we kept going because it wasn’t like we knew another way.  Well, that was a mistake!  We ended up in the middle of a huge construction zone that ended with this:

 

It reminded me of this episode from The Office:

So yeah, we had a little detour!  After that adventure we finally found our way back onto the road and we cruised along nicely for a few hours until we hit some God awful traffic.  Obama was visiting Virginia and I am convinced we got in some kind of traffic affiliated with that because it was the middle of the afternoon and all backed up for only one exit.  We came up on quite a few of these signs:

It took fooorreeever to get through it but once we did it wasn’t too bad other than some stop and go.  All in all it took almost 8 hours (we had figured on 6.5-7 because of stops) which was pretty long and exhausting.

We got to our hotel, which honestly is nothing to write home about.  We were on the 18th floor which freaked me out because I do not like heights but the view was AMAZING!  Our balcony faced the ocean and I could see it from my bed.  Here are a few photos with a view from the room:

The shadow of the hotel

Once we were at the hotel, we checked in and hit the beach.  I am serious, we were there for about five minutes before we were on the beach!  Basically we just played around in the sand and dipped our feet (very quickly…it was sooo cold) in the water.  We totally geeked it out and loved every second of it! 

Our shadows on the beach

Can you tell…the water is freeezing!

Toes in the sand!

By the time we got back to the hotel from the beach, our friends Katie and Erica had gotten in and we made plans to meet up for dinner.  We hit up Abbey Road which was reallllly good.  And of course, more photo geekiness:

By the time dinner was over we were beat and ready to get back to the hotel and relax.  Which is exactly what we did.  I watched some March Madness (wtf  shout outs to Nova and Kansas!) and eventually we both went to bed. 

Saturday morning Michele got up for a run but I sat in bed enjoying the sound of waves crashing and the feeling of the sun on me at is shined in through the window.  It was blissful! 

Headed out to the balcony to enjoy my morning coffee

When Michele was done her run we went down to the hotel restaurant and ate breakfast.  It was just okay.  Afterwards we headed to the expo.  It was pretty big and was hardly crowded at all when we got there; we were able to really look around and shop which was nice.  I picked up a cute RunnerGirl shirt and took advantage of some free samples.  We were there about an hour and a half which is the longest I have ever been at an expo. 

My shirt says “Think Green” and it is one of my favorites

The  medal…

Once we were through with the expo, we headed out for lunch.  First we stopped at a cute little cafe but the staff was extremely rude so we left and met back up with our friends at the same place we ate dinner the night before, Abbey Road.  And it was so good again!

Me and Katie

By the time lunch ended it was actually kind of late in the day and Michele and I were looking forward to a nap and getting in the hot tub!  I love naps ❤ and they are even better with the sounds and smells of the ocean right out the window 🙂  When we woke up we hit the hot tub for a while and then got ready for dinner.  I wasn’t too hungry but because Michele needed some carbloading we headed to Olive Garden.  We didn’t get home until pretty late and as soon as we had our race stuff together, we zonked.

Before we knew it, it was 430am and the alarms were buzzing.  We got ready and made our way down to the race site.  It was pretty bare boned when we arrived but it filled up fast.  We were one hour before the marathon start (which I still don’t understand since that is a longer race) so the crowd was a lot smaller than most races I have been to.  After some pre-race photo taking, Katie and Michele made their way to the pacer and Erica and I went off to have breakfast.  It sucked and it took forever and we had to rush to get to the finish line so we could watch, that is how long it took!  Ridic!   

Pre-race photos:

Soooo early!

Katie And Michele…ready to race!

Me and Erica…awesome spectators!

This was my first time as a spectator for a race; usually I am a volunteer or a racer, so this was totally new to me.  I loved it!  I wore my race outfit…bib and all…and planned to hop in at the .2 mark to run my friends to the finish.  As runners began finishing I was getting more and more excited to see Michele and Katie.  Before I knew it they were running towards me…their goal was 2:15 and they were ahead of that so I was all pumped pushing them to the finish line!  The finished in 2:14:28!!!  It was a five-minute PR for Michele and an amazing FIRST 1/2 marathon time for Katie!  And I got to run!!!  That .2 is the only running I have done in over 3 weeks. 

So the race report is one simple but awesome line: it was so wonderful to run and I loved it and I had NO PAIN!!! *

After we got through the finish we met back up with Erica and hung around on the beach for a while and took some post race photos:

In  my “race” outfit (notice no chip)

Loved these socks!

Katie and Michele with the finishers shirts!

We parted ways with Katie and Erica and headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up.  We opted to walk the mile back so that we could cheer on the racers as we walked.  And after we got cleaned up, we went back down to watch the marathoners pass our hotel which was at about the 22 mile mark.  It was really quite awesome…we got to see some seriously amazing runners!  Eventually it was back to the hot tub so that we could relax before the drive home.

The drive home was hysterical; everything that happened was completely random.  First we stopped at a pizza hut to eat before we left and it was a walk-in only.  Here in NJ, all Pizza Huts are sit down so we were all confused.  But the guy looked at us like we had ten heads when we asked if they had seating.  We ended up eating on a bench outside the place.  Weird.  And it only got weirder…we took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  I hear it is wonderful but I wouldn’t know because I am petrified of bridges!  I did not intend to take this way home but it was too late when I realized it so I just put on my big girl pants and drove.  It was torture…14 miles of just bridge.  O.M.G.  I was so happy when we were finally back on land!  The rest of the drive, until we hit Philly, was almost all country.  At one rest stop, a lady in the bathroom was having a difficult time with her #2 and felt the need to tell us after pushing that “it was a good one!”  helllo…TMI!  We laughed about that for almost an hour of the ride home!  Finally around 830, I pulled into Michele’s driveway and we were home!  Thankfully the ride home was much faster than the ride there because I had work (plus two meetings after work) early in the morning!

Overall, it was an awesome weekend getaway.  I would love to go back and race the course next year.  They gave out some awesome race swag (I did not take the finisher’s shirt), the expo was great and it looked like the racers were having a great time.

 

*NOTE:   I know this is likely to ruffle feathers, but I took the medal.  I mulled it over and went back and forth on it many times.  Before I was in this situation, I probably would have balked at someone doing that.  But being in the situation makes it different.  I had decided race morning I was going to run in with my friends and take the medal.  I did not put it on at any time nor do I have any photos of me with it.  I do not plan to hang it up with my earned medals or include it in medal box.  Mostly, I took it for posterity.  My first DNS.  And since it was my decision to make and I am happy with the decision, it doesn’t matter what other people think of me. 

 

(PS…don’t forget to vote for my weekly Q&A theme name on my sidebar…voting closes Monday morning)

Picking The Q&A Theme

I’m baaaaaaaaack!  Did ya miss me?

If you missed it, check out my post from last week here about the start up of my new weekly Q&A feature.  Looks like quite a few of you are interested, so it is a go!  I have decided that it will be held on Monday’s for two reasons.  I think it is a good way to start the week and because Thursday is already a pretty busy day with Three Things Thursday.  Additionally, as Jill pointed out, is TiaRT ever starts up again, we willl at least be on seperate days. 

As for the themes, I did not get as many suggestions as I had hoped but I have narrowed it down to three from the suggestions I was given (chosen by myself and some non-biased co-workers).  Whichever theme has the most votes at the end of the week (voting closes at 10am next Monday) will be the winner!  Check out the poll on my sidebar and cast your vote!

First Question will go out next week, along with the winner of the theme!

VA. Beach trip report tomorrow!  And waaaaaayyyy backed up on google reader- going to be skimming through but mostly starting over from yesterday.  If I missed anything super exciting, please let me know!!!

Posted in Q&A